MHN: Surging Military Healthcare Costs, VA & Benzos


Military Headline News – Rick Rogers

Like Robert Gates and Leon Panetta before him, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is bemoaning the skyrocketing costs of military health care
That care is almost three times more expensive than it was in 2001 and accounts for $53 billion – 10 percent of the entire defense budget.
And its growth shows no signs of slowing down. The Congressional Budget Office says the costs could hit $65 billion by 2017 and $95 billion by 2030.
While the problem is clear, what Congress intends to do about it is anything but.
Medication Madness
Department of Veterans Affairs guidelines discourage prescribing sedatives known as benzodiazepines for Post Traumatic Stress.
That’s because there’s little evidence that they work and growing evidence that they cause harm.
Yet VA doctors keep prescribing them. An estimated 30 percent of vets diagnosed with PTS are given the drugs, according to the VA.
Rick Rogers, Military Headline News.


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Rick Rogers is a defense reporter based in San Diego.